Category Archives: Department of Neighborhood Council (DONE)

Next Steps for Film Liaisons – 10 of Them!

Next Steps for Film Liaisons – 10 of Them!

Last month, Community leaders representing 57 Neighborhood Councils met with Public Works Commission President Kevin James and FilmLA President Paul Audley in LA’s first Neighborhood Council Film Liaison Town Hall.

For those who were there and for those who have signed up as Film Liaisons since then, here are 10 steps to Empowerment!

Make it Official – Take Mayoral Directive #6 to your Neighborhood Council and have them pass a resolution supporting the City of LA’s commitment to supporting the film industry and to working with Film LA.

Create a Space – Place the FilmLA logo with a link to their website so that your stakeholders can quickly connect with “the official film office of the greater Los Angeles region.” You can also place a link to the Film Liaison for your Neighborhood Council. Ultimately, the objective is to make it easy for the community to connect with FilmLA and to create good channels of communication in both directions.

Get Social – Follow, Like, Friend, and connect with all 96 Councils, all 42 Departments, FilmLA, and all of your new best friends – the other Film Liaisons. Then share the information with your network and become the trusted source of information in your community.

Work Together – There is strength in numbers and there is great value to be enjoyed by sharing best practices. Connect with your neighboring Neighborhood Councils and work together.

Forge Relationships – The fastest route to conflict resolution is to create a network of people who can identify issues, connect with the right people, and pursue solutions. Typically the most significant frustration comes from knocking on the wrong doors and getting bad directions to another wrong door. Establishing a Film Liaison who is connected to FilmLA’s representatives makes it easy to give great directions to the right people with the best solutions.

Partner with Power – Your City Council office is an awesome partner and CD3’s Michael Owens is a great example. He works with his community to ensure great relationships with FilmLA and he also gave location Managers a tour of his district to promote filming, resulting in a “double-digit” increase in local filming which generated local income. He also introduced WraPal which allows the community to register their property for use as a film location.

Invite those Guests – One of the great things about the Film Liaison Town Hall was the large number of Industry professionals that are ready to jump at the opportunity to meet with community groups to talk about filming and ways to create win-win opportunity. When they introduced themselves, they also gave their neighborhood and it turns out, they’re your stakeholders!

Inform to Engage – The simplest and most effective route to engaging your community starts with great information. Linda Alexander of Central San Pedro has done a great job creating a resource guide that informs and engages people by connecting them with the information they need. San Pedro also has a Filming Brochure.

Engage to Empower – The most resilient communities are those that are engaged, connected, sharing information and inspiration at every opportunity. The most significant route to Empowerment is to engage each other in the journey and to work together.

Share Best Practices – LA is the center of the creative universe, filled with storytellers! We’d love to hear your stories and we promise to share them with others so that we can all benefit from your hard work. Seriously, email us and let us know what you’re doing!

Each of LA’s 96 Neighborhood Councils can designate one Film Liaison who can be a Board Member or a stakeholder. The President can appoint the Liaison or the Board can select the Film Liaison. Some councils have more than one liaison but there must be a lead who is the single point of contact for FilmLA.

The Mayor’s Executive Directive #6 calls on the City of LA to support the Film Industry and it is in that spirit that the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment is supporting the organization the Neighborhood Council Film Liaisons.

FilmL.A. is a 501(c)4 not-for-profit public benefit organization and the official film office of the City of Los Angeles, providing streamlined permit processing and production planning services to filmmakers and comprehensive community relations, marketing services, film policy analysis and more to local governments, FilmL.A. works to attract and retain film production in Greater Los Angeles.

LA is both the Film capital of the world and the civic engagement capital of the world, and the continued partnership between Neighborhood Councils and the Industry will be a force to reckon with!

For more information on the Neighborhood Council Film Liaisons, email Stephen Box at or call 213-978-1551.

Film Liaisons – A Community Dialogue

Film Liaisons – A Community Dialogue

Community leaders representing 57 Neighborhood Councils met with Public Works Commission President Kevin James and FilmLA President Paul Aubrey in LA’s first Neighborhood Council Film Liaison Town Hall.

James opened with an overview of Mayoral Directive #6 which establishes the city’s commitment to supporting the film industry, establishing positive relationships, and creating opportunities for communication.

Aubrey initiated a community dialogue, giving an overview of FilmLA and how it strives to coordinate location filming for then City of LA, support the Industry with location support, and serve the communities of LA to create win-win partnerships.

Joining James and Aubrey were Production Manager Richard Prince and Location Manager Duffy Taylor who shared “how things work” from their perspective and offered some best practices on how they work with communities during location filming.

James and Aubrey both laid down the significant economic impact of location filming in LA, including this factoid; for every Starbucks in the City of LA, there are three film industry related businesses.

Prince and Taylor took the dialogue from big-picture to hyper-local, providing personal anecdotes of the positive impact of location filming on them, their families, and their neighborhoods. This point was driven home during introductions when several location managers introduced themselves by the neighborhood they lived in, ranging from Studio City to Silver Lake to Mar Vista.

Aubrey brought several members of his team, including FilmLA’s Community Outreach Liaisons, Arturo Pina and Guy Langman, who shared FilmLA’s strategies  and commotion to ensuring that neighborhoods are well represented. Both Arturo and Guy offered examples of community partnerships and production solutions that support filming and serve neighborhoods.

Representing Neighborhood Councils was Linda Alexander, past-President of the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council, past-FilmLA Board Member, and as the Film Liaison for the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce for the last several years. Alexander stressed the importance of communication and education.

Council District 3’s Michael Owens wrapped the dialogue with a success story that started with a tour of his district for location managers that resulted in “a double digit increase in location funding.”

Each of LA’s 96 Neighborhood Councils can designate one Film Liaison who can be a Board Member or a stakeholder. The President can appoint it the Board can select the Film Liaison. Some councils have more than one liaison but there must be a lead who is the single point of contact for FilmLA.

For more information on serving, please contact Stephen Box at or (213) 978-1551.

Neighborhood Council Purposeful Aging Town Hall – Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Neighborhood Council Purposeful Aging Town Hall

Purposeful Aging Liaisons from throughout the city will be gathering on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, in Public Works Chambers at 6:00 to meet representatives from the many departments that deliver services to LA’s Senior Citizens. In addition, Neighborhood Council leaders will present best practices on from the Purposeful Aging Liaisons that have already activated campaigns to engage their communities and to connect seniors with the services they need.

Many of the City of LA’s Departments are engaged in a citywide campaign to ensure that our seniors, the fastest growing demographic group in the city, are supported and this includes the Mayor’s Office, the Aging Department, the Office of the City Attorney, Recreation and Parks, Housing, Transportation, City Library, City Planning, and the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment.

Out great opportunity is to organize as Neighborhood Council Aging Liaisons and to ensure that all of our most vulnerable stakeholders get the support that they deserve and that they need.

This meeting is for the Neighborhood Council Aging Liaisons but is also open to the public. If your council has an Aging Liaison, please make sure that they attend this meeting. If your council does not have an Aging Liaison, please agendize and appoint one. The Liaison does not need to be a Board Member, just someone with a passion for supporting our seniors.

For more information on the Neighborhood Council Purposeful Aging Liaison Town Hall, email Stephen Box at or call 213-978-1551.

As always, thanks for all you do to EmpowerLA!

Neighborhood Council Film Liaison Town Hall – January 26, 2017 at 6:00 pm


Neighborhood Council Film Liaison Town Hall

LA’s Film Czar, Kevin James will be welcoming Neighborhood Council Film Liaisons to the first citywide Town Hall on Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 6:00 pm in Public Works Chambers on the 3rd floor of LA’s City Hall.

Neighborhood Council Film Liaisons will have the opportunity to meet representatives from FilmLA, the non-profit that coordinates location filming throughout the City of LA and beyond. In addition, Location Managers, Production Managers, and Permit Company representatives will be there to join in a robust conversation of the film industry, location filming, and opportunities for partnership.

In addition, Neighborhood Council Film Liaisons will be offering best practices from their experience working with the Film Industry, including the mitigation of issues and conflict but also sharing their experience in partnering with the industry so that the local community benefits from filming in their neighborhoods.

For more information on the Neighborhood Council Film Liaison Town Hall, email Stephen Box at or call 213-978-1551.

As always, thanks for all you do to EmpowerLA!

Global Forum 2016 adopts Donostia Declaration


Global Forum 2016 adopts Donostia Declaration

From 16 to 19 November 2016, 200 people from all continents of the world gathered in Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain, to attend the sixth Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy.

This year’s edition of the world biggest conference on participatory democracy addressed the question whether direct democracy is in retreat or on the rise and how to connect social movements around the globe to encounter the backlash against democracy and human rights.

At the end of the Global Forum the participants commonly adopted the “Donostia Declaration” that reads as follows here.

Further information on the Global Forum and coverage at:

Neighborhood Council Civic University 1.0 Is Returning in January 2017!

Neighborhood Council Civic University 1.0 Is Returning in January 2017!

Neighborhood Council Civic University 1.0 Is Returning in January 2017!

The Neighborhood Council Civic University is a collaboration between the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State Los Angeles, the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners and EmpowerLA. The Civic University arose from a shared belief among us that there are immense gap in public knowledge and understanding of how Los Angeles city government works, and that as a result, people in many communities feel that they cannot effectively influence their own government. The first Neighborhood Council Civic University 1.0 had nearly 200 board members participate, and it received rave reviews. This is an amazing course on how the City works and where Neighborhood Councils fit in LA government.

Neighborhood Council Presidents/Chairs should designate two board members (one woman and one man) from your Neighborhood Council to attend. Please have the designee register here by Friday, December 16, 2016. We highly encourage new board members to attend.

To receive a certificate of completion from Cal State Los Angeles, attendance is mandatory for all three sessions. The dates are January 17, 24, and 31, 2017 from 6 pm – 9 pm at the Ron Deaton Auditorium at 100 Main Street in Downtown LA.

Please contact Tom Soong of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment at or (213) 978-1551 if you have any questions.

Support NCSA’s call for 100% renewable energy by 2030; Call for Cool Block Leaders; and More

Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance

Support NCSA’s call for 100% renewable energy by 2030

The NCSA Board urges its member Neighborhood Councils to call for LADWP to shift its energy generation portfolio to 100% renewable energy by 2030 and refrain from further investment in its fossil fuel infrastructure— lofty and impactful goals. And the timeline for this issue is immediate, as LADWP is setting their Integrated Resources Plan right now.

Want to learn more about the issue? The NCSA will be hosting an informational conference call on Sunday, October 16 at 3pm, in which you’ll hear both supporting and opposing viewpoints on this action. All NCSA Member Representatives are encouraged to attend. Please email to RSVP for the call. (Is your NC not a member yet? See here to join.)

Ready to take action? We are encouraging a few related yet independent actions:

  • NCSA Member Representatives will vote! While the NCSA Advocacy Committee and Board recommend this advocacy position, our members determine whether we officially adopt this stance or not. We will be emailing out for votes as late as possible in order to accommodate NCs, but the DWP must submit its plan to the state by the end of the year. (Stay tuned for information about voting!)

  • Everyone is encouraged to take this issue to their Neighborhood Councils. The more councils that act, the more resounding it will be for LADWP to adopt this position. See our Advocacy page for our letter, sample agenda motion language, and support materials.

  • Speak up at the upcoming LADWP’s Integrated Resources Planning workshops, scheduled for the end of the month and early November. The schedule for the workshops can be found below, and here.

Questions or thoughts? Contact NCSA Energy Committee Chair Tyler Aguirre at

WANTED: Cool Block Leaders!

Would you like to help your neighborhood become climate-friendly, disaster-resilient, and community-rich? Then join the NCSA on Saturday, October 15 or Sunday, October 23 at a Cool Block Cafe to learn all about our new Cool Blocks LA program, and how both Neighborhood Councils and individual residents can participate in our Nov 2016 – June 2017 pilot! Details and RSVP here:

Local events and opportunities

Oct. 5. 10th anniversary celebration of CA Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), live webcast

Oct. 5-7. Greenbuild 2016 Expo & Conference, DTLA

Oct 7. LADWP La Kretz Innovation Campus Grand Opening, DTLA

Oct. 7. SUMMIT: Shaping the City of the Future, Santa Monica

Oct. 11. California Housing Summit, DTLA

Oct. 13. Sustainable Works Green Living Workshop series, Westwood

Oct. 15. Cool Block Cafe + Hyperion Treatment Plant Sustainability Features Tour, Playa del Rey

Oct 15. 2016 Great Streets Challenge: “Call for Community Partners” workshop, DTLA

Oct. 16. NCSA advocacy action opportunity, conference call (see details above).

Oct. 16. CicLAvia – Heart of LA, Boyle Heights, Chinatown, DTLA, and Westlake

Oct 18-20. Earth Now: Earth 2050 Symposium, UCLA

Oct. 19. Sustainability Day, CSU Northridge; topics include water, energy, and social justice

Oct. 22. P-22 Day & Urban Wildlife Festival, Griffith Park

Oct. 23. Cool Block Cafe, Hollywood

Oct. 26. One Water LA workshop, Atwater Village

Oct. 26. LADWP Integrated Resource Planning workshop, DTLA

Oct. 28. 2016 Mayoral Housing, Transportation, and Jobs Summit, UCLA

Nov. 2. LADWP Integrated Resource Planning workshop, Wilmington

Nov. 3. LADWP Integrated Resource Planning workshop, Pacoima

Thank you, 2016 Congress of Neighborhoods participants!

Many thanks to all who joined NCSA at the very successful 2016 Congress of Neighborhoods on Sept. 24! Whether you shared your experiences at the sustainability or other workshops, volunteered at our outreach table, or joined us for our pizza social at the end of the day, we greatly appreciate your interest and support!

We invite you to continue the conversation with us and help the NCSA achieve even greater impact in the year ahead, by getting involved with one of our many committees. Please contact NCSA board chair Torin Dunnavant for more information: In addition, please take a few minutes to share your feedback about the Congress with the Neighborhood Council Congress Planning Committee, by Oct. 7, here. Thank you!!

Green Festival Expo wrap up: congratulations and thanks

Congratulations to Claudia Cooper and Joe Harper, the winners of the NCSA’s recent prize drawing at the Green Festival Expo! Claudia will receive a $500 collection of eco-friendly skin care products, compliments of Josie Maran Cosmetics in Hollywood, and Joe will enjoy a $69 SunPort X1 solar-powered light and charger, courtesy of Compact Solar Devices.

Much thanks to Josie Maran, Compact Solar Devices, and our other terrific event and program partners — LA Sanitation; Empowerment Institute; LATE BLOOMER – An Urban Garden Web Series; Recycle by City; and TreePeople — for their support!

Connect with us on Facebook and assure you see our emails

Want to find or share local sustainability events, resources, or opportunities for action? Need help with a community sustainability challenge? Join your peers and the NCSA today at our Facebook Group and Facebook Page. Also, to assure that NCSA emails land in your primary inbox, please take a moment to add our Nationbuilder email address to your contacts:

Got a question, comment, or suggestion? Please send us a note:

Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance (NCSA)

Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance · Los Angeles, CA 90272, United States
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You can also keep up with Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance (NCSA) on Twitter or Facebook.

Beyond Neighborhood Councils

Beyond Neighborhood Councils

Beyond Neighborhood Councils

You are cordially invited to “Beyond Neighborhood Councils – How to Run for Higher Office, Get Appointed to a City Commission, or Find a Job with the City”.

Featured speakers include Board of Public Works Commissioner Kevin James, Board of Neighborhood Commissioner Len Shaffer, Department of Water & Power Commissioner Jill Banks Barad, and representatives from the Personnel Department and Office of the City Clerk.

Monday, October 24

5:15 pm – Registration/Networking
5:45 pm – Workshop

Marvin Braude Constituent Service Center
Community Room
6262 Van Nuys Blvd.
Van Nuys, CA 91401

This is an open event. Please feel free to invite anyone who may be interested.

Please RSVP at

Call for Cool Blocks LA Leaders in Your Area


Call for Cool Blocks LA Leaders

The Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance (NCSA), in partnership with the City of Los Angeles, seeks volunteers in each Council District who wish to help their neighborhoods become greener, safer, and resilient to disasters. Join the NCSA on either Sat., Oct 15 in Playa del Rey, orSun., Oct 23 in Hollywood, to learn all about the new Cool Blocks LA pilot program that brings Angelenos together to achieve these goals using an innovative neighbor-to-neighbor engagement and support model.

Cool Blocks LA Leaders are building a more sustainable, resilient and socially connected LA — block by block — while also honing their leadership, coaching, and team-building skills and improving neighborhood knowledge of and access to citywide resources.

Click here for more information, and RSVP now for a Cool Block Café to learn more, hear from current leaders, and meet other prospective leaders. And please spread the word!

The First Class of Neighborhood Council Civic Youth Graduates at the Congress!


The First Class of Neighborhood Council Civic Youth Graduates at the Congress!

Civic Youth Leadership Academy (CYLA) is the latest civic engagement initiative of EmpowerLA. Designed to increase youth participation in Neighborhood Councils, this free six-session course took place this summer as a partnership between the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and the Mayor’s Innovation Team and Office of Public Engagement.

Of the approximate one hundred applications received, a carefully selected cohort of 40 students aged 15-20 were accepted to the program. Over the course of six Saturday morning sessions here at City Hall, these youth participated in interactive workshops and heard from many of our great city leaders, such as the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Ana Guerrero; Board of Public Works Commissioner Heather Repenning; Department of Neighborhood Empowerment General Manager Grayce Liu; Bureau of Sanitation’s Leo Martinez; Henry Casas of the Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement; and Nancy Olsen of the Southern California Leadership Network, among many others, and of course, Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The program covered topics such as civics and government structure, user-centered design thinking, public speaking, community organizing, and service learning. The youth organized and completed seven simultaneous neighborhood clean ups that took place citywide on September 10th.

CYLA concluded on Saturday, September 24th at the Congress of Neighborhoods, where five student panelists led a discussion on increasing youth participation in Neighborhood Councils in a session 4 workshop. The youth touched on the topics of targeted outreach for students both in schools and elsewhere in the community. They also discussed the need for increased “youth-friendliness” of Neighborhood Councils by lowering the age requirements to participate, allowing youth to form and head committees, and the importance of being given real responsibility.

Following the panel, Mayor Garcetti spoke to the youth in his press conference room, congratulating them on their achievements and leading them over to the closing session of Congress where he presented them as “not just leaders of the future, but leaders of the now.”  After the closing session, the youth were presented with Certificates of Appreciation by Grayce Liu and the Director of the Mayor’s Innovation Team, Amanda Daflos.

Congratulations to the inaugural class of CYLA! Many thanks to all those involved in making Civic Youth a great success.  EmpowerLA will continue this program annually, and the application period for next summer’s iteration will be opening in the spring!

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